A WORCESTER solicitor's firm has welcomed the government’s plan to extend its Help to Buy equity loan scheme past the original 2021 deadline to 2023.

Thursfields Solicitors, based in Worcester, has highlighted that the extended scheme will be restricted to first-time buyers only who are purchasing newly built homes during that time.

And new regional price caps will dramatically reduce the maximum value of homes that can be bought with the assistance of the scheme.

Louise Jones, head of the New Homes team at Thursfields, said: “This extension of the Help to Buy scheme for first-time buyers is excellent news, as these are the people who really need assistance in taking that first step onto the housing ladder.

“Meanwhile, the upcoming price caps are designed to deal with the criticism that the scheme helps to artificially increase house prices and line the pockets of builders.”

Mrs Jones explained that currently anyone moving to a newly built home who is taking advantage of the Help to Buy equity loan can buy a property worth up to £600,000.

But she said that during the extended period from 2021 to 2023 a cap will be set at 1.5 times the current forecast regional average first-time buyer price, up to a maximum of £600,000 in London.

This will see buyers in the West Midlands having their purchasing power under the scheme reduce to properties worth a maximum of £255,600.

Mrs Jones highlighted that as only first-time buyers will be eligible to apply under the scheme during the extended period those looking to benefit from the scheme but who already own their own home must take advantage of it before April 2021.